Gathering This Week’s Magic 08: April 7 – April 13

Week one of spoilers under our belts, Standards winds up for a new set, and the best MTGFinance tools around. Read all this and more in Gathering This Week’s Magic.

SCG Invitational and Some Others – Is Standard “Solved”?

Last weekend you could basically only watch the #SCGInv stream or play at a local PTQ, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get some tech. GerryT won the Invitational with Shardless BUG and and UWR Flash (No surprises that his pet decks happen to be awesome in his hands). Korey McDuffie reigned supreme in the Junk Rites mirror in a bizarre, in a one-game finals to win the Standard open, while Max Tietze piloted GOBLINS!!!!!!!!! to the cup over Punishing Jund, the only deck with two copies to make a diverse top eight.

Metagame Info

Start it off right with some pie charts from Mr. Vigabool, which show Esper to be deck number two from last weekend. Most importantly, he shows us that white is the most competitive color in Standard in terms of cards represented in the top 16.

Adam Yurchick wonders whether Standard has reached equilibrium yet, or maybe even stagnated. The answer you get depends on who you ask – some love the range of decks and some are bored to tears.

With a few weeks left in pre-Dragon’s Maze Standard, Junk Rites is still The.Deck.To.Beat. If you want to choose the lesser of two evils, Owen Turtenwald has some ideas about tuning your Jund list.

Upcoming Tournaments

GP Strasberg is this weekend, and the format is LEGACY!!!!! Dying it might be (who knows) but this death knell seems fun.  The #GPStrass stream starts early, around 8:00 A.M. Eastern.

#SCGMke will be held and streamed from beautiful Milwaukee, which we know from Alice Cooper is Algonquin for “The Good Land.”


There are two of the best and most interesting looks at spoilers I’ve seen, although the first is pretty old – but if you want to know the hot synergies that blew up speculators’ inboxes earlier this week, check it out. The end of the first piece also offers a nugget about block cycles for the #mtgfinance guys (of which I am certainly not one), while Jackie throws in some words on limited.

Of course, you can stay (relatively) up to date on MTGSalvation on the spoilers page and draw your own conclusions.

Learn about Drafting

Prep for the changing tides of draft with this review of how Mirrodin Besieged to changed Triple-Scars draft. What will DGR be compared to Gatecrash, besides slower and more powerful?

Strategy and Theory

picardmagicSmallHe quotes Star Trek to explain his losing streak and explore the idea that “it is possible to make no mistakes and still lose.” Read up if your fire as a ginder is feeling trod-upon.

Conley Woods talks about identifying tech by looking at last weekend’s Standard and evaluating how minor card changes – cough cough Electrickery from Getty T – can change matchups.

Although this article ostensibly deals with Pauper, the personal MTG flaws he addresses and strategies he discusses to deal with them apply for everyone. I still have a problem playing around counters at dumb times in EDH, so I’m pumped to get ideas about how to stop doing that.


The Leporatory looks at three sweet brews that range from tier 2 to tier 1.5, but more grinding could push that before the season shifts with Dragon’s Maze. Duskmantle Seer, Immortal Servitude, or Cathars’ Crudade? Pick your poison.

I mainly wanted to include this article in the brews section because it describes a deck played at a medium-sized Legacy tournament last weekend that seems Awesome. based on tax effects and moons letting you flip turn-two Hanweir Watchkeeps and Instigator Gang and crush. That’s right. Go ahead and look up those bulk rares and draft chafe that broke top eight. But there is a lot of solid financial info in here as well.

More Legacy! Here’s Caleb Durward on how to brew control in type 1.5.

Design & Development

In previewing his spoiler card for the Mothership, Sam Stoddard offers some insight into Future Future League and how development sometimes makes cards that go the distance. Spoiler, UWR Flash was the top deck.

Casual Thoughts

My LGS’ EDH league started this week, and while I had a perfectly good, desirable experience, not everyone in the nine pods of four did. It raised the same questions about Commander leagues as always – balancing deck power, “The Social Contract,” and all that – as illuminated by HotC’s Jess.

Here’s a compendium of house rules from Andrew Rogers, in case you’re looking for just the right tweak to make Magic fit your kitchen table fancy.


So this tool is bonkers for comparing set price cycles.  H/T Osasis Games SLC. If you’re looking for great Magic pricing and trend tools, the ones the pros (and me too!) recommend are:

  • Black Lotus Project: Price trends pulled from eBay
  • MTGPrice: Price trends pulled from a number of retailers. Beware the “fair trade price” because it’s a bit high for most people’s tastes.
  • This is a quick search tool that pulls from TCG, which has pros and cons.

Now if only they’d optimize for mobile use.

Fantasy and Art

Check out this casual, Magic-universe story in which we meet Tesysa, who wants to kill the Ghost Counsel.

MTG “Anthropology” Part One looks at a few specific races in Magic and evaluates their style, power, and likelihood of return. It’s pretty sweet, but isn’t this more like MTG Zoology than anthropology?

This might be the third or fourth week I’ve included Art Attack, but he’s talking about card borders. How could I not think we all want to compare them?

Social & Community Stuff

So there are these things called special invites, and WotC uses them to do a lot of things for professional Magic. And they prompt heated conversations on the monthly. Here are some snippets moderated by Matt Sperling.

I’m burning with the fire, personally, and I loved putting this together. Let me know if you had fun reading! Go SPOILER SEASON!

If you have comments or questions, post below or shoot them to me on my Twitter handle @MdaveCs. GTWM is a work in progress and I’d love ideas of how to evolve it to make it more useful and fun for you.

Thanks for reading
❤ Dave


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